Whiplash from a car accident occurs when the head is suddenly whipped or snapped due to a sudden jolt, usually involving a car accident from the rear. However, whiplash can also occur from a slip and fall injury or a rollercoaster ride. So if you are injured, you would what to know what scientific studies say about what health care services best addresses the injured whiplash patient?
Conventional Medical Care Fails Whiplash Injuries From A Car
This question was answered in a published study titled, A Symptomatic Classification of Whiplash Injury and the Implications for Treatment (Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine 1999;21(1):22-25). The authors state conventional [medical] treatment utilized in whiplash care, “is disappointing.”
For this project the authors reference a study that demonstrated treatment by chiropractic physicians benefited 26 of 28 patients with chronic whiplash syndrome. Obviously a much different outcome than the conventional medical treatment. The objective of this study was to determine which type of chronic whiplash patient from a car accident would benefit the most from chiropractic treatment. They separated patients into one of 3 groups:
Group A: patients with “neck pain radiating in a ‘coat hanger’ distribution, associated with a loss of neck movement but with no nerve involvement”;
Group B: patients with “ nerve injury symptoms, signs or both in association with neck pain and a restricted range of neck movement”;
Group C:patients who described “severe neck pain but all of whom had a full range of motion and no neurological symptoms or signs distributed over specific myotomes or dermatomes.” These patients also “described an unusual complex of symptoms,” including “blackouts, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting and chest pain, along with a nondermatomal distribution of pain.”
The patients underwent an average of 19.3 treatments over the course of 4.1 months (mean). The patients were then surveyed and their improvement was reported:
GROUP A GROUP B GROUP C
|24%||Improved by two symptom grades||43%||Improved by two symptom grades||9%||Improved by two symptom grades|
|24%||Improved by one symptom grade||13%||Improved by one symptom grade||18%||Improved by one symptom grade|
|28%||No improvement||6%||No improvement||64%||No improvement|
9% of Group C became worse. Although not stated in the report, this 9% may have become surgical canidates from their whiplash injury.
These findings show the best chiropractic treatment results of whiplash from car accidents occur in patients with mechanical neck pain (group A) and / or those with some nerve injury (group B). The most complex injured group (group C) was the most challenging and, the only group where a small percentage worsened. The good news is, the number of cases that responded well to chiropractic treatment (groups A & B) far outnumber those that don’t (group C). Hence, almost all patients with whiplash injuries from car accidents should consider chiropractic treatment as their first choice of treatment.
The doctor or chiropractic physician you choose to treat with should be well versed in documentation of your injuries to prove to the insurance company or judge that you are injured. Dr. Novatnak of Doctors’ Choice Physical Medicine & Rehab in Pottsville has been involved in hundreds of auto accident cases and attorneys have relied upon his expertise. He also holds a CCST (Certified in Chiropractic Spinal Trauma) by the Council on Applied chiropractic Sciences of the International Chiropractic Association.
If you, a loved one, or a friend is struggling with whiplash residuals from a car accident, you can depend on receiving a multi-dimensional chiropractic whiplash assessment and therapeutic approach at this office. We sincerely appreciate your confidence in choosing our office for your health care needs!
Doctors’ Choice Physical Medicine and Rehab
Dr. David Novatnak
Glee Pascual, Physical Therapist
Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA
This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your medical history.